FIELD OF THE INVENTION
- BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The invention relates to a method for making destination guidance instructions available to a user who possesses no map data or route data.
Navigation devices that guide vehicles and their users on a previously calculated route are known. Navigation devices that have access to data material outside the route being traveled are capable of guiding the user to the destination on an alternative route, which may need to be recalculated. If the user is located outside the digitized road system, however, the user is then usually requested to turn around immediately, or the direction and distance to a known route point are indicated in the form of a compass rose.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
What the compass rose usually suggests is the shortest distance (beeline) to a known path segment on the map or route. The compass rose is understood as a (compass) direction with respect to North, or as a travel direction (direction of the vehicle relative to the path segment).
The present invention relates to an easy and clear orientation of the user, for example, for a geographic region about which the user possesses no known map data or route data. With one glance at the display, the user is given answers to the questions:
- What is the direction and distance to my destination?
- What is the direction and distance to a closest waypoint that will guide me to the destination?
With the combined output/display of several direction and distance indications, the user may select the route most favorable for him as a function of his surroundings, e.g. one-way streets that cannot be traveled, a river with no nearby bridge, etc.
The output according to the invention combines the direction and distance data to the various waypoints compactly and clearly in one display. It may be advantageous, as a result, that the driver may very quickly infer the desired information. Furthermore, the driver has not just one direction indication recommended to him but at least two simultaneously, so that he can select one of them. The driver will select the one that is, in his opinion, more favorable for arriving more quickly at the destination. This is always the case when, for example, a direction indication encounters, for example, a river or a one-way street in the wrong direction.
Advantageously, the directional arrow may be depicted in the foreground or the driver's visual focus, which also contains the shorter and/or more favorable distance to the destination or waypoint. The driver may thus be presented with the navigation unit's decision without having to dispense with the second indication.
Advantageously, the destination or waypoint name (and possibly street name) may also be integrated into the display, so that the user may also orient himself and make a decision on the basis of the destination name.
Advantageously, the direction indications may be switched back and forth manually, so that the driver decides which indication is currently the more important for him.
Advantageously, the direction indications may be switched back and forth automatically, so that the shortest or geometrically most favorable one for the driver/user is always in the foreground.
Advantageously, the vehicle's direction with respect to North may also be integrated into the display, signifying a further orientation aid for the driver.
Advantageously, in addition to the direction and distance data, the geometry (known to the navigation unit) of the map or route, or even a previously recorded track in the case of off-road navigation, may be displayed in the background for better driver orientation. The driver as a result receives not only indications to two waypoints, but all the local navigation knowledge at one glance.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Advantageously, a direction and/or distance indication may also be outputted/spoken acoustically and the voice outputs may be linked to the optical direction indication that is in the foreground.
FIG. 1 shows a topology of a routing in which the destination is located farther away than a waypoint of the route.
FIG. 2 shows a combined direction and distance display having two directional arrows.
FIG. 3 shows an alternative combined direction and distance display having two directional arrows.
FIG. 4 shows another alternative combined direction and distance display having two directional arrows.
FIG. 5 shows a combined direction and distance display having a route depiction in the background.
FIG. 6 shows a topology of a routing in which the destination is located closer than a waypoint of the route.
FIG. 7 shows a combined direction and distance display for the topology according to FIG. 6.
FIG. 8 shows an alternative combined direction and distance display for the topology according to FIG. 6.
FIG. 9 shows another alternative combined direction and distance display for the topology according to FIG. 6.
FIG. 10 shows the direction and distance display depicted in FIG. 8, with the route depiction additionally superimposed.
FIG. 1 shows the topology of a routing from a starting point S to a destination Z. The routing is known to the user, i.e. it was prepared by his navigation unit on the basis of internal map and/or route data (map or route CDs) or, for example, ascertained from information sent to the navigation unit via mobile radio from a control center for map data or route data. The driver/user has strayed from this proposed routing of his navigation unit and is now located at current position P, in a region about which no known map data or route data are available to him, i.e. in a so-called non-digitized off-road region. From this position P, a nearby destination-guidance waypoint W of the known routing, located at a geometric distance of 600 m, cannot be arrived at because it lies, when viewed from position P, on the other side of a river F. According to the present invention the user receives, for this topology, two direction indications and at least one distance indication, specifically one direction indication proceeding from present position P to waypoint W in his vicinity about which he possesses map data or route data, and a further direction indication to destination Z or to a further destination-guidance waypoint X that is closer to destination Z than waypoint W in the user's vicinity. The prepared direction indications are prepared for, in particular, simultaneous output to the user, and at least one distance indication pertaining to a direction indication is prepared and is provided, in particular together with the two direction indications, for output to the user. Output is preferably accomplished graphically on a display, as depicted e.g. in FIG. 2. The arrow present in the foreground shows the direction indication and the distance to the closest waypoint W of the known routing. The distance is evident from a distance bar inside this directional arrow. The smaller the distance bar becomes, the closer the waypoint W. The directional arrow presented in the background on the display shows, in similar fashion, the direction and distance to destination Z. To push the directional arrow shown in the foreground into the visual field, it is depicted as being wider than the directional arrow to destination Z. Alternatively or additionally, the direction and/or distance indication is outputted acoustically, for example in the form “Next waypoint is 600 m at 7 o'clock, destination is 5 km at 10 o'clock.”
In the exemplified embodiment according to FIG. 1, waypoint W cannot be arrived at directly. In this case the driver/user follows the thin directional arrow in the background to destination Z. The driver has followed the directional arrow, and a new situation has arisen as depicted in FIG. 6. The driver/user receives in this context the direction displays with integrated distance display depicted in FIG. 7. Since a new waypoint to be traveled to has been determined by the navigation system, the following voice output may be simultaneously activated: “Destination is 500 m at 3 o'clock, closest waypoint is 600 m at 12 o'clock.” This time the driver/user follows the direction toward waypoint X (intermediate destination), since he cannot find a road that leads even approximately toward destination Z. Once he has reached waypoint X he is no longer in the off-road region and can be guided by his navigation unit, in the usual fashion, on the known route to destination Z.
FIG. 3 and FIG. 8 depict two direction displays in which the arrow in the foreground again shows, in the same fashion, the direction and distance to the closest waypoint on the known route. The distance is once again apparent from a distance bar in the arrow. The arrowhead in the outer circle shows the direction to the destination, the distance being displayed as text. In a development, the distance to the closest waypoint can also be presented as text.
FIG. 4 and FIG. 9 in turn depict the indications of direction and distance to the waypoint and destination as circles with arrowheads. The information may be perceived more quickly because it is larger and is arranged centrally. Compass North is additionally depicted on the outer edge by way of an arrowhead.
FIG. 5 and FIG. 10 show the same information as in FIG. 3 and FIG. 8, but may additionally depict the route or map that the user possesses or, possibly, a recorded track in the case of off-road operation. The various depiction possibilities may also be combined with one another.
In addition to optical indication, an acoustic indication may also be provided, as mentioned. The message may announce one or more direction and/or distance indications. The point in time of a new message may be determined by the occurrence of one or more of the following criteria:
- after expiration of a defined static or dynamic time interval, e.g. a short interval at high speed, a long interval at low speed;
- in the event of a change in the waypoint to be intercepted, to which the indication refers;
- after a defined unit of distance has been traveled;
- after a defined change in direction with respect to the last direction message has been exceeded;
- after the distance to the next waypoint has fallen below a defined value.
Possible messages can be spoken in the following forms:
- “Closest waypoint is 600 m at 7 o'clock.”
- “Destination is 5 km at 10 o'clock.”
- “Closest waypoint is 600 m to the left behind the vehicle.”
Together with the direction and distance indications, additional descriptive attributes—for example the destination or waypoint name (street name)—on the basis of which the user can quickly become oriented and make decisions, may be presented on the display. The direction indications may be individually adjustable by the user, for example, switchable back and forth, in terms of foreground and background display. The user may thus decide for himself which indication is currently more important to him, for example, as a function of his surroundings, e.g. one-way streets that cannot be traveled, a river with no nearby bridge, etc.
The direction indication in the off-road region may be provided to the user, for example, via his GPS device. The distance from the current position P to known waypoints W, X, Z may be ascertained easily by way of the normal of the difference vector.